Sustainability: Labor of Love for Customer Loyalty?

image: customer retentionDeveloping and delivering commercially successful products and services that build customer loyalty can be a challenge in today’s dynamic consumer market.  However, many of our sustainability consulting clients now realize that repeat business is one of the most important aspects of their survival.  Stable base revenue generation is not only a requirement to fund immediate growth, but it is essential to ensure long-term business sustainability.

Highlighted in the article, It's Cheaper to Keep 'Em, the authors at Inc.com explore the cost/value efforts of new customer acquisition versus existing customer retention.

“If you’ve ever tried to explain the concept of ‘make new friends but keep your old ones’ to a five-year-old, you have a pretty good perspective on how many high-growth businesses approach customer acquisition and retention.  Growing businesses tend to spend so much of their time and money acquiring new customers that they often overlook their best source of growth: retaining and growing their existing customer base.”

Our sustainability consulting practice finds that companies on the leading edge recognize consumer preferences are constantly changing, and they are tapping into that knowledge. Unlike their predecessors, the ‘now’ generation of companies can no longer work in a strictly new customer acquisition strategy mindset.  To be sustainable, businesses must develop a dynamic and engaging business model to capture existing stakeholder interests.  Common business sustainability strategies for customer engagement might include:

• Active dialog with stakeholders on sustainability issues through social media.

• End user discussions on product or business sustainability actions.

• Reverse marketing to suppliers to improve materials and business processes within product supply chains.

In today’s business climate, the competition for business is growing exponentially and globally.  Consumers are becoming more educated in their preferences and recognize that their options no longer have to remain local.  To survive and even step beyond the competition, our sustainability consulting is helping companies explore new avenues which drive desired business sustainability action and build strong base loyalty. 

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